Access to HE Art and Design

Faculty of Art, Design and Fashion

Attendance Options: Full Time


What will I study?

Full Time Course

If you have your English and maths at Grade C/4, have a small portfolio and an avid enthusiasm for being creative and want to make this your future career our art and design access is for you.

Level 3 Access to Design and Creative (1yr)

During this demanding and intensive course, you will participate in a personalised study programme that will maximise your potential and enable you to progress onto University to study Creative subjects. You will be encouraged to develop skills that our employers have listed for you to be successful, such as problem solving, creativity, positive communication and innovative thinking. The course is academically and practically challenging.

You will also learn how to present your completed course work in appropriate formats and develop a digital and practical creative portfolio and be supported for future progression to University, Employment or an apprenticeship after your course ends.


Modules and Topics

This course provides a range of opportunities to explore materials, techniques and processes in varied creative disciplines, however, it is a programme designed to build and improve an existing skill base in order to develop a portfolio for entry into Higher Education. Students are expected to have some creative ability and will demonstrate this at the interview with a collection of examples of previous creative work. A good command of written and verbal communication is necessary to cope with the academic writing aspect of the course. Maths and English GCSE is recommended to be achieved at C/4 prior to the course to ensure you are able to progress to your chosen University without issue.

Level 3 Access Course Content:

Work Experience

It is very important that you develop your experience within your industry and that you complete work placement opportunities. We can support you with this and our tutors have excellent industry links with relevant employers. We also invite employers and organisations to come in to offer you opportunities to complete projects and tasks, and have industry master classes and guest speakers from your industry specialism who will broaden your understanding of the career routes that you may choose to follow. Studio activities you will participate in involve critiques, pitches and informing learners on subjects like interview techniques.  

How will I be assessed?

You will be continuously assessed to establish what you have learnt from each module and assignment.

To ensure you are ready for a demanding and successful career in the creative industry, many of your assessments are in line with the industry standards and protocols. This means you may be asked to pitch your ideas, present planning documents that meet professional standards for your intended outcomes, productions and for specific target audiences/clients, or work with an employer to create a solution and outcome for a project.

With each project, you will be asked to produce a portfolio of evidence, which is also formally assessed by your tutors at various points throughout the year. Your feedback will be kept on our digital assessment platform at final assessment points. While one to one tutorials will discuss your progress and set you new and stretching targets to ensure you are always aiming high and making good progress.

We embed self, peer and tutor assessment in almost every session, whether this is in verbal or written form. Learners have regular tutorials where their assessment grades are checked.

What will this lead to?

Our Level 3 Access course is designed as a springboard course in to Higher Education and training opportunities.  After completion, progression options include university, apprenticeship, or full time employment.  We have links with University Campus Oldham who run a range of courses at Foundation Degree, Top Up Degree and Honours Degree courses. You will be required to have GCSE English and maths at grade C to do this course.

Particular creative subject opportunities include:

Entry requirements

Entry Level Programme: Skills for Life & Work

No formal qualifications are required for this course, although evidence of personal progression from previous education establishments would be beneficial.

These courses are specifically designed for learners with a special educational need (SEND).

Entry Level Programme: Skills & Employability

English & maths GCSE Grades G-U / 1 or English & maths Functional Skills Entry Level 3


GCSE Re-sit Study Programme

You will receive an offer of a place on the course subject to passing an English & maths assessment.


Vocational Level 1 Programme

English & maths GCSE Grades E-G/1- 2 or English & maths Functional Skills Entry Level 3.


Vocational Level 2 Programme

Minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade D/3 including maths and English or a vocational qualification Level 1, plus GCSE grade D/3 in both maths and English. English & maths Functional Skills Level 1 will be accepted as an alternative to GCSEs.


Vocational Level 3 Programme

Minimum of 4 GCSEs at grades A-C/4-9 (including maths and English) or a vocational qualification Level 2, plus GCSE grade C/4 in both maths and English

How to apply

You can apply for all our courses by choosing the Apply Now button, which appears once you have chosen the area you are interested in.

You can apply for Apprenticeship vacancies or register your interest in an Apprenticeship sector as follows -

To register your interest -

To apply for a vacancy -





Full Time

If you are aged between 16 and 18 when you start your course and are taking a course leading to a qualification, the tuition and exam fees are free. However, there may be some additional costs for optional trips, recommended text books and professional start up kits. We have a bursary scheme to assist with these costs.

Part Time

If you are aged between 16 and 18 when you start your course and are taking a course leading to a qualification, the tuition and exam fees are free. However, there may be some additional costs for optional trips, recommended text books and professional start up kits.

Please note that fees may be charged to students ages 19 and over on certain courses. For more information about course fees and whether you may be eligible for fee remission please ring 0161 785 4039 or email

What happens next?

It is important that you come along and speak to one of our staff about your choice/s.

Once we receive your application, you will be invited in to speak to a tutor or a member of the Apprenticeship team to discuss your application.

This will provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the course/Apprenticeship and to see our facilities.